A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Congestive Heart Failure
I had a question the other day about congestive heart failure.
Heart failure affects almost 6 million Americans.
About 670,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure every year.
It’s the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65.
Heart failure doesn’t mean the heart has stopped working.
Rather, it means the heart’s pumping power is weaker than normal.
With heart failure, blood moves through your heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in your heart increases.
As a result, your heart can’t pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet your body’s needs.
The chambers of your heart respond by stretching to hold more blood to pump through your body or by becoming stiff and thickened.
This helps to keep your blood moving, but your heart muscle walls may eventually weaken and become unable to pump as efficiently.
As a result, your kidneys may respond by causing your body to retain fluid and salt.
If fluid builds up in your arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs, or other organs, your body becomes congested, and congestive heart failure is the term used to describe the condition.
Heart failure is caused by conditions that damage the heart muscle.
You may not have any symptoms of heart failure, or the symptoms may be mild to severe.
Symptoms can be constant or can come and go.
The symptoms can include:
>Congested lungs. Fluid backup in your lungs can cause shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying flat in bed. Lung congestion can also cause a dry, hacking cough or wheezing.
>Fluid and water retention. Less blood to your kidneys causes fluid and water retention, resulting in swollen ankles, legs, abdomen, and weight gain. Symptoms may cause an increased need to urinate during the night. Bloating in your stomach may cause a loss of appetite or nausea.
>Dizziness, fatigue, and weakness. Less blood to your major organs and muscles makes you feel tired and weak. Less blood to the brain can cause dizziness or confusion.
>Rapid or irregular heartbeats. Your heart beats faster to pump enough blood to your body. This can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
If you have heart failure, you may have one or all of these symptoms or you may have none of them.
They may or may not indicate a weakened heart.
To deal with congestive heart failure and get heart healthy at home it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush toxins.
*Increase exercise and movement as much as possible.
*Increase stress and relaxation techniques: yoga, meditation, prayer, deep breathing, etc. Consider energy medicine.
*Address emotional connections.
*Increase fresh air, sunshine, connect with nature.
*Increase essential fats (flax oil, olive oil, Omega-3 oils).
*Increase fresh, raw fruits and veggies (organic when possible).
*Consider fresh juicing; consume fresh garlic and onions.
*Increase fiber intake; ensure good bowel function; avoid constipation; consider liver and/or colon cleanse.
*Consider an arterial cleansing program.
*Investigate use of herbs (hawthorn, valerian).
*Monitor blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride and homocysteine levels.
*Decrease toxic exposures of all kinds (food and environmental).
*Decrease “hidden allergies”.
*Decrease any and all hydrogenated, trans fats, deep-fried foods, margarine, fast foods, etc.
*Decrease sugar, sweets, white flour products, processed foods.
*Understand and control diabetes.
*Avoid tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, soda pop.
*Decrease excess weight, particularly around your mid-section.
*Understand your medications and possible side effects.
*Understand your family history and address any concerns. Practice preventive measures.
*Investigate possible connection to dental procedures; consult a holistic dentist.
*Eliminate MSG and all artificial sweeteners as they are neurotoxins.
*Decrease processed meats, deli meats (nitrates).